This week, NASA’ Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) captured a remarkable phenomenon on the sun’s surface, a giant hole known as coronal hole taking up more than 10% of our sun’s surface.
From here, our sun seems eerily calm but it is actually a red-hot ball of violence capable of spewing powerful blasts of radioactive particles towards Earth.
These powerful blast could be extremely dangerous, messing up with our communication systems and satellites and would be dangerous to unshielded astronauts, large doses could be even fatal; thankfully, Earth’s magnetosphere is there to keep us safe — these blast cannot harm our human bodies as long as we remain on the surface of Earth.
So, what causes these violent streams? The solar wind emanates from the Sun in all directions, but one of the sun’ lesser-known weather phenomena, called coronal holes, emanate most readily these stream of particles.
Coronal holes are low-density regions of the sun’s atmosphere known as the corona – the aura of plasma surrounding the sun,
explained NASA scientists.
Because they contain little solar material, they have lower temperatures and thus appear much darker than their surroundings. Coronal holes are visible in certain types of extreme ultraviolet light, which is typically invisible to our eyes, but is colorized here in purple for easy viewing.
Such phenomenon are being investigated by NASA’ Solar Dynamics Observatory, a spacecraft launched on February 11, 2010, that scientists use to understand the causes of solar variability and its impacts on Earth.
From May 17-19, SDO spotted a colossal coronal hole covering the northern hemisphere of our star, so huge that scientists aren’t quite sure how to explain it, but it is clear that the sun is going through something very strange; this is the first time such a massive hole has been found or at least captured on the video, let’s take a look:
In this image, you can see something very unusual is happening with our sun, something that we have yet to fully understand; usually holes have been seen but nothing at the size of the whole recently found.
Though NASA says the recent holes in our sun, even the large ones like this one, is actually not of great concern, it is totally normal but some researchers said that something is clearly happens with our sun, such large hole have never seen before.